- Genres: RAP/R&B
- Aliases: Jalil Hutchins, Ecstasy, Grandmaster Dee, Doctor Ice, Kangol Kid
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Whodini is a hip hop group from New York that was formed in 1981, made up of Jalil Hutchins, Ecstasy (John Fletcher) and Grandmaster Dee (Drew Carter).
Along with Run-DMC and The Fat Boys, Whodini was among the first hip-hop groups to cultivate a high-profile national following for hip-hop music and made significant inroads on Urban radio. The Brooklyn, New York-based trio consisted of vocalist-chief lyricist Jalil Hutchins; co-vocalist John Fletcher, aka Ecstasy, who tended to wear a Zorro-style hat as his trademark; and DJ Drew Carter, aka Grandmaster Dee. Contemporaries of Run-D.M.C., they were managed by Russell Simmons, brother of Joseph “Run” Simmons. The group signed with London-based indie Jive Records in 1982; they enjoyed a string of hits, mostly charting on Urban/R&B stations. The bulk of production on its releases was done by Larry Smith, a bass player who also handled much of Run-D.M.C.’s early work.
In keeping with 1980s trends, Whodini’s cuts tended to be synthesizer-driven with a heavy electronic drumbeat. The sampling technology that became identified with hip-hop music hadn’t really become prominent during Whodini’s early days, and its works were thoroughly original compositions. “Haunted House of Rock” was its first single, a whimsical Halloween-themed number. Synth-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby produced another of its early singles, “Magic’s Wand,” which was originally conceived as an advertisement for prominent radio jock Mr. Magic, who worked for New York’s WBLS. The group culled a female audience with such relationship-themed cuts as “Friends” and “One Love.” Backstage partying was extolled in the mildly controversial “I’m a Ho.” “Fugitive” was guitar-driven funk.
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